Putting your brand in the spotlight as part of a virtual event is not something that will happen automatically; you need to plan ahead and put a few strategies in place to ensure that it is featured prominently.
While subtlety is not always the answer here, you can think outside of the box if you want to increase brand recognition and get people talking about it. To help out, here are just six ideas that could inspire your own promotional efforts.
Send In The Swag!
Branded gifts are ubiquitous at industry events of all sizes, and there is no reason for this trend to be overlooked in a virtual context. Whether you choose to put the swag together yourself from an existing collection of products or choose gift ideas for your next conference that are a little out of the ordinary, you are sure to win over every participant.
Swag is brand marketing gold because it forms a positive association in the minds of recipients, and also means that your brand will stick around long after the event has ended. With more people working from home at the moment, branded goodies can make a big difference to your business’ reputation.
Invite A Surprise Speaker
Virtual events often need an injection of excitement and interest, which is not always achievable if you are having to do all of the heavy lifting yourself. This is where recruiting a special guest to participate and share their wisdom can make a big difference.
The person you pick does not need to be a household name, although again the current situation means that people have more availability at the moment than would normally be the case. Whoever you invite, make sure that they are relevant to your niche and well-positioned to promote your brand effectively, rather than seeming like they have been chosen at random without really knowing anything about what your business does.
Create Branded Virtual Backgrounds For Team Members
A simple yet effective promotional tactic is to make virtual backgrounds which members of your team can use during events so that they are always on-message and well-positioned to enhance brand visibility.
Static virtual backgrounds with your company logo and corporate color palette are of course the quickest and easiest to conjure up, and if you are not a Photoshop wiz, then you can always outsource this to the relevant department if possible.
More ambitious virtual event hosts can go so far as to make video-based virtual backgrounds, perhaps featuring animations or full-motion footage of either abstract visuals that represent your brand, or tangible products and services that it offers. However you handle this, a branded virtual background will be far more impactful than something generic and plain, or no background at all.
Use Social Media Effectively
Brand promotion in virtual events should not just be limited to the platform hosting the event itself, but must also factor in the other places where your organization has an existing presence.
Integrating social media elements is clearly sensible for this reason since plenty of participants will also be engaging with their own social feeds over the course of the event. So it makes sense to feed their habits and ensure that they are always thinking about your brand.
From running polls and quizzes to posting interesting stories and sharing content on social media which can be referenced during and intricately connected to the event itself, there are plenty of routes to take.
Leverage Storytelling To Your Advantage
Many brand experts agree that storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to ingratiate an organization with prospective customers and partners, whether in face-to-face settings or in a digital context. So rather than simply relying on carefully crafted logos and concise, clear messaging, expand your ambitions to include a storytelling element as part of your next virtual event.
There are several approaches to adopt, whether you decide to focus on the overarching story of your brand’s emergence and rise to prominence, tell the tale of an individual employee or team’s contribution to its success, or chart the progress of your latest product from inception to launch.
You can also deploy different tools for this purpose, from the aforementioned social media to bespoke in-event presentations, or fully-fledged videos which are easy to share with participants at the right moment.
Introduce A Competitive Element
The nature of the virtual event will dictate whether or not including a competition of some kind will be a sensible strategy, but in the right scenario, it could be a real boon for your brand reputation, as well as helping to spread the word about the event and boost attendance figures in one fell swoop.
When it comes to competition options, you could choose to organize this to take place ahead of time, so that participants have an opportunity to prepare their entry and then showcase it during the event itself. You could also choose to have the competition play out in real-time, issuing awards, prizes, and other perks to the lucky winners.
This, of course, is another way in which you can give out branded products to people who are involved in the virtual event. It could be a good solution for organizations that do not want to feel like they are pushing their branding too aggressively, yet still want to optimize the impact of every event they run.
Most importantly, if you are still unsure how to proceed, check out what other brands are doing to get ahead and take inspiration from them. Also, you do not just have to use one of these ideas in your own events, but can experiment with a number of them, and perhaps put them through their paces with internal test runs to determine their effectiveness and appropriateness. All of your hard work in preparing for virtual events will eventually pay dividends, so it is definitely worth putting in the effort.